Triple Catch-22 with Myanmar

One year after the coup in Myanmar, the brutality of the military regime is growing, but so is armed resistance. And civilian protests are also still going on. For Beijing, the situation is becoming increasingly uncomfortable: comments and assessments on the anniversary show that the Gordian knot has, if anything, become even more tangled.

The “Digital Silk Road” in Central Asia

In 2015, the People’s Republic of China proposed the so-called “Digital Silk Road” initiative (DSR) in 2015. The scale of Chinese investment is testament to the government’s immense interest in the project. According to data gathered by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, China is currently participating in digital infrastructure projects in around 80 countries, and has already invested some 79 billion US dollars in DSR schemes worldwide.

Kazakhstan: Putting out the fuse

The situation in Kazakhstan these days is rather obscure: Popular discontent and/or prelude to a ‘colour revolution’ and/or “foreign terrorists” and/or internal coup and/or ….? One thing, however, is clear: After Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan and other countries, they show once again how vulnerable China is. And the fossil economy plays a key role: Oil and gas remain explosive.

Newsletter December 2021

CONTENTS: Posts: ‘Dual Circulation Strategy’: China’s „new development model“ / Numbers mystique at ChinAfrica Forum // News: Europe’ response to Belt&Road: ‘Global Gateway’ / 20th Anniversary of China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation / Debt debate: Highway to Disinformation? / Frigate ‚Bayern’ demonstrates to Beijing where the hammer is hanging // Readings: Changes in Beijing’s economic involvement: Adaptation and Agency.

Numbers mystique at ChinAfrica Forum

If the ‘8th Forum on China Africa Cooperation’ at the end of November was an indicator of the intensified competition between the United States, Europe and China for Africa, Beijing kept a fairly low profile. The limited media attention given to the meeting, which was scheduled only at the ministerial level, gives the impression that most observers wanted to quickly and graciously spread the cloak of silence over FOCAC8 and its results.

China’s „new development model“

With the ‘Dual Circulation Strategy’ (DCS), the government in Beijing has once again thrown a stone into the water to test the effects of the announcement. However, after a few critical articles, the international discussion has remained surprisingly quiet. Yet the deliberations could have far-reaching implications for further globalization and China’s leading role in it.

Newsletter November 2021

CONTENTS: Posts: Beijing reports boom in foreign trade / Konflikte um das Südchinesische Meer // News: Courting the Bride Africa / Under Observation by the Regional Rival / Kämpfe entlang der Seidenstraßen / Webinar: China and the World // Reviews: Patrick Bond, China’s Role in Africa’s Development / Zeitschrift ‘Wissenschaft und Frieden’: Chinas Welt? – Konflikte und Kooperation.

Beijing reports boom in foreign trade

China’s authorities report soaring foreign trade figures, despite of the on-going Corona pandemic. A further shift towards the BRI countries is emerging, a trend that plays into the narrative of the ‘Dual Circulation Strategy’ announced this summer. This “new development model” intends, on the one hand, to further enhance the internal economy, while ‘external circulation’ refers to further integration into the global economy through foreign trade and investments.

Newsletter October 2021

CONTENTS: Posts: Coal Phase-out top down / Kohleausstieg ‘par ordre de mufti’ // News: ASEAN’s emergent key role / China and Europe: Cooperation in Africa / „Global Gateway“ – Europe’s connectivity competition / Update: Compensation for “no more coal-fired plants abroad” // Readings: How ‘multilateral’ is the AIIB? / Global Perspectives on China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Coal phase-out ‘par ordre de mufti’

President Xi Jinping’s announcement at the UN General Assembly in September that China will not build any new coal-fired power plants abroad in the future has given the international climate community new hope for an accelerated reduction of CO2 emissions worldwide, like the mirage of an oasis to the thirsty wanderers in the Sahara. For a real energy transition in the countries of the Global South, however, this is only one – albeit important – piece of the puzzle.